What Is Entertaiment?


The clown at the birthday party, a Broadway show, or your friends fighting over the last potato chip—all are forms of entertainment. The word comes from the Old French entretenir, which means to hold together or support, and it was originally associated with hospitality: entertaining a guest meant keeping them happy and amused. Now we use it for any activity that provides enjoyment or diversion, usually involving some sort of performance.

According to Bates and Ferri (2010), entertainment is understood objectively, includes communication between text and audience, draws its pleasure from external stimulus, requires an audience to exist and occurs in a passive form. It may be playful or serious, sexy or sardonic. It can range from a single person choosing an entertainment from a now-vast array of pre-recorded products, to a banquet adapted for two; from theaters to stadiums to global audiences.

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